Australia: Are we a fascist state?

By Mark Jarratt, Director, Civil Liberties Australia

In the excruciating period leading to the 2019 federal election, within a day of Parliament reconvening for the year, politicians were again indulging in fear mongering, with the usual targets of “boat people” and the never-ending war on terrorism.

Most asylum seekers, at a ratio of about 3 to 1 (it varies), arrive on commercial airline flights.  Not a word about “air people” – though that’s how the childlike Asian sex workers, or the slaves serving food in restaurants, or back-packers bent on overstaying for good, or even au pairs all travel to Australia.

Both major parties were oddly silent on vital issues like the financial sector regulation failures identified by the Hayne Royal Commission.  With supposed corporate and fiscal regulators succumbing to Stockholm Syndrome (becoming captured like the criminals they should be policing), politicians would have had to commit to sustained analysis and effort to fix those massive problems.

Fear-mongering is quicker, slicker, easier, and cheaper.  The mainstream media aids and abets the politicians’ authoritarian descent into a neo-fascist state.

Immediate recourse to alarm over borders and terrorism questions the health of the Australian body politic, whether the LNP coalition or the ALP triumph in 2019.

A practical example of how far the Australian nation has tumbled down the path to a fascist state, and away from a healthy democracy, is the ever-expanding crusade against smoking and smokers.

Fascists from nearly a century ago rally to practice their personality cult worship.

Most Australians believe tobacco controls are based on health concerns, but that’s not so. The entrenched anti-tobacco mentality has little or nothing to do with public health. If public health drove policy, smoking would be completely banned and governments would happily give up the billions in revenue extorted from smokers.

Health and morals partly drive the relentless anti-tobacco crusade, but a major foundation is the widely spreading resurgence of fascist ideology.

Fascist thought makes a resurgence

Government hyper regulation, punitive and extortionate taxation and other “public health initiatives” to persecute and stigmatise smokers are nothing new. Russia used to whip smokers; Turkey beheaded them; India slit their noses.

Two anti-tobacco crusades, very similar to the fervid programs of today’s Australia and the western world, took place within the 20th century. Both immediately preceded world wars. The first, in the USA, directly preceded World War One. The second, prosecuted by the Nazis, directly preceded World War Two. This may be coincidence, but it’s unsettling to realise it may not be.

The root cause of each pre-war crusade was a sharp rise in ideological materialism, a philosophy which generates social tension, removes tolerance, and dispenses with courtesy and civility. Grave danger to democracy emerges when the prevailing government mentality is to control every aspect of daily life and empower militant, authoritarian paternalism.

That mentality gives open slather to eugenics movements, campaigns of thought control, discriminatory social engineering, and legislated behaviour modification.  The prohibitionist tobacco control playbook is now the bully template against personal freedoms. Rabid attacks are being launched against other personal choices: types of food, alcohol, gambling, greyhound racing…whatever is the next new target of tax-and-ban wowsers.

Wowsers rule, OK?

Wowsers are people who want to control your thoughts and actions, though they claim: “We Only Want Social Evils Remedied”. Many people believe the wowser “thought police” are a greater threat to society than whatever ill the wowsers currently target for shutdown.

Bans on smoking in public spaces and making smokers by force of law consume their entirely legal, highly taxed product in corralled smoking ghettoes is pure fascism. Public smoking ban bigots support fascist ideals and are anti-freedom.

The bans and laws make ordinary Australians give up their personal freedoms to conform with the desires of a minority. The shrill minority has trumped its way into imposing their personal preferences on the rest of society by prohibitionist propaganda and outright lies. Anti-freedom collectivism is the foundation of fascist doctrine.

Australians who fought in the world wars volunteered to fight fascism and eradicate it.  They bravely did this for themselves, and selflessly for following generations. Now, as fascist social control ideology permeates parliaments, it is necessary for more objective critical thinking and less acceptance of propaganda and lies.

Fighting for freedom takes different forms over time. People who now support freedom and democracy must continue the fight previous generations began, although through different tools.

The issue is not being a smoker or a non-smoker: fascist thought and action is a much greater danger to an open society than smoking is to another person’s health.

To paraphrase the classic Pastor Martin Niemöller poem from the Nazi era on persecution, guilt, and responsibility “First they came for the smokers…”.  Once a nation allows fascism to dominate in one area of society, it will expand until it is stopped.

As the Niemöller poem indicates, today the fascists might be targeting a freedom someone else enjoys; eventually the target will be a freedom you enjoy.

In the protracted politician speak leading to the 2019 federal election, Australian citizens should remain mindful of these observations:

 

  1. Anti-smoking legislation is evidence of an authoritarian society. Lifestyle control and coercive paternalism appease the whims of fanatics who hold positions of influence. In a free economy, demand dictates supply. Smoking bans and restrictions are only in place because there is currently not enough demand for smoke-free establishments to appease those who claim they speak for all society. The will of a few is being forced on the many.
  1. The anti-smoking crusade is portrayed as a public health issue but is driven by selfish bullies legally forcing others to give up freedom of choice. If smoking ends, the same people will campaign to control the next intolerance on their personal hit list.
  1. Most militant anti-smokers engage in destructive behaviour that other people might think is very anti-social: eating “junk” food; swigging soft drinks; driving cars with blue smoke pouring from the exhaust; sitting for hours in front of screens being doused in electro-magnetic radiation; talking on mobile phones and beaming radiation directly into their skulls…and possibly into the skulls of people nearby.

Do not meekly descend into the increasing darkness of fascism. Express your own personal views, do your part, raise awareness of personal freedoms, and fight for the right to freely choose.

As a contributing member of civil society, wake people up and let them know what is at stake. The greatest ally of fascist ideology is apathy, as others ramp up their bullying.

(Thanks and appreciation to Mr Derek Audette, contributor to Think Magazine – think.cz for inspiring this article).

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2 Comments

  1. The pre WW1 crusades (against both drinking and smoking) in the US had more to do with a resistance to modernity (or a religious backlash against it ) than to any kind of fascist government control. Nor was the war itself ours to begin with till Wilson ginned up the need for our involvement. And while the war took the national mind off the perils of tobacco and whiskey (always a niche worry to begin with) the “progressive” worriers roared back in its wake, aiming their political weapons more at liquor (whose prohibition was launched in 1919) than on tobacco which had actually gained in popularity. Nor did the war against tobacco begin in America again (quietly at first) till the post WW2 1950s. My theories being a) that wartime is a time of high anxiety which tobacco relieves and b) it tends to concentrate the mind on actual perils. Anti-smoking is a peacetime luxury.

    Walt
  2. The reference to Pastor Niemöller is a strong one. It’s been very sad to see so many people who are vulnerable on other fronts happily throwing smokers under the wheels of the bus in hopes of escaping the same fate themselves.

    “Don’t tax me, and don’t tax thee! Tax the fella behind the tree!” seems to be the mantra.

    Here in the States we saw it, sadly, with vaping. Even up to just a three or four years ago many US vapers thought that the Antismokers, who were supposedly concerned about smoke, would be happy to see vapers out and about and exhaling clouds of pretty much totally innocent vapor into the air instead of smoke. So many of those vapers adopted the language of the Antismokers and proceeded to support smoking bans with vaping exemptions!

    Heh, and come the day of the vote in Council chambers and guess what happens? Vaping Exemption thoughts disappear and the vapers have no one to turn to for aid.

    To understand why such things work the way they do, you need to understand what the antismoking movement is. It is NOT some sort of “Evil Conspiracy” for the most part. It’s far more of a “Perfect Storm” of people with different motivations all moving in the same direction at the same time. Today we see one of the groups of people, ones I have labeled as “The Greedy,” with far more power than they used to have simply because they’ve suddenly come into undreamed of piles of money from the taxes they supported. But it’s still a multi-headed hydra out there… and the only common weakness, the vulnerable “Heart Of Its Body,” are the lies. You can take almost any official media piece of antismoking or antivaping propaganda and find it riddled with language lies, statistical lies, and plain and simple lying lies. Attack those lies and you attack the beast. – MJM

    Michael J McFadden

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